Because there are only a select few airlines that venture out to French Polynesia, you'll find that getting there isn't quite as easy as you might assume. Another thing you'll want to note is that the airlines that do travel to French Polynesia all fly into Tahiti, before departing to the other nearby islands. Thankfully, Moorea is practically in the shadow of Tahiti so you actually have a few transportation options, unlike most of the rest in the large island group, where a flight is the only practical way of getting there.

With that said, there's a good chance that you are heading for one of the finest resorts in the South Pacific, as the Moorea overwater bungalow hotels are all world-class properties that are famous in their own right. There are actually more overwater bungalows off of Bora Bora, but those take a little bit longer to reach. Because of this, many honeymoon couples like to book their first few nights in Moorea and then fly from there to Bora Bora or one of the other South Pacific islands.

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Getting to Moorea Island

When planning a trip to Moorea, the first step is to figure out how to get to Tahiti. This is because, as mentioned above, Tahiti is the leg of the trip that’s right before Moorea. The short version of that answer is that you’ll most likely be flying to Tahiti from Los Angeles. This will be the case even if you are starting in Europe. But once you arrange your flight to Tahiti, what’s next? Well, part of that depends on your exact schedule. If you are going to stay on Tahiti itself, perhaps in one of the overwater bungalow resorts on Tahiti, then you’ll almost certainly want to take the local ferry, which leaves right out of the main marina in the capital city of Pape’ete.


However, if you are going straight to your resort on Moorea then your best bet is to fly directly there from the Tahiti Airport. If you are tempted to spend a few hours touring around Tahiti itself and then taking the ferry to Moorea, we’d say that it’s not really worth your time. Moorea itself is actually more beautiful of an island, and Pape’ete, unfortunately, is a bit grimy and not all that interesting anyway. If you’re already staying on the island, then we could see visiting, as you are already there. However, we wouldn’t say it’s worth going out of your way to visit and see.

Flights to Moorea

Because you’ll almost certainly fly from Los Angeles to Tahiti, you’ll probably fly Air Tahiti Nui, which is the long-haul national carrier of French Polynesia. Once you arrive on Tahiti, you’ll change to a smaller prop plane on Air Tahiti. Even though the names are very similar, they are actually two different airlines. You can usually buy both separate tickets from an online travel agency, but you are going to want to look at the schedule closely to make sure you have enough time to change planes.


Air Tahiti schedule


Four flights a day most of the year, first flight leaving Tahiti at 7:15am and last flight leaving at 17:15 (5:15pm). Around the December holidays there can be 5 flights some days and 3 flights other days.


What you’ll find when booking, is that most, but not all, flights from Los Angeles arrive late in the evening. This means that many visitors will have about an 8-hour layover before their flight in the morning. Most people opt for a hotel room for the night. However, it needs to be noted that there are no budget hotels in the area, making a single half night of sleep on the expensive side.


The flights only take 15 minutes, and you can buy tickets right on the spot most times, when tend to cost around US$100 round-trip for adults and even less for children. If the plane doesn’t work you can always take a taxi a short distance into Pape’ete, and then take a ferry from there.

Ferries to Moorea

When looking into local ferries, you’ll find that there are two companies running ferries between Tahiti and Moorea, with journey times ranging from around 30 to 60 minutes, give or take depending on the weather. Some carry vehicles (mostly Moorea locals who’ve come to shop), while others only carry passengers. These ferries tend to cost about US$15 per person (each way) making them far cheaper than the flights. Also, you’ll want to note that there is a great comfort level on these series compared to an airplane.


Unfortunately, ferries don’t operate in the dark, so if your Tahiti flight lands after about 16:00 then you’ll be spending the night on the island. Because of this, you’ll want to really make sure you keep this in mind when booking flight tickets onto the island.

8 thoughts on "Where are overwater bungalows and water villas?"

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  1. Im interested in know where the overwater bungalows are located. Do they have any that close to Destin Florida?

  2. I would love to reserve a week stay in an over the water bungalow including May 16th 2021.
    Our daughter ❤ turns 16 and this is her birthday request,..,.,….,.,

    1. Pamela,

      We are simply an online guide to overwater bungalows and we don’t do bookings, but we do provide links to the best places to book each resort on the various information pages of the site. Best of luck! -Roger

  3. Hi,
    Looking for New Years deals after December 25th for 5-10days. Any suggestions on last min deals??

    Please let me know. Looking to book asap


    1. Yanna,

      We are simply an online guide to overwater resorts and we don’t do bookings. We do have booking links for every resort on the site, so booking online is usually your best bet. Best of luck with this. In normal years it would be impossible to get a last-minute deal over Christmas, but this year might be different. I’d check as they almost always have the best rates in the Maldives. -Roger

  4. Any suggestions as to a nice place for an extended stay? Preferably on a beach, over water and food inclusive. I have heard a rumour about $30 k per couple for a one year stay…any substance to that? We don’t need a year,, but would certainly consider three to five months. We are retired, used to travel a lot, and have homes in Canada and Mexico. We are now a bit bored in Canada and Mexico is a bit dicey.
    Any deals?

    1. David,

      I’m not aware of any good deals on overwater bungalows in countries where you can stay for extended periods. The Maldives now has a deal for US$30,000 to stay in a water villa for a whole year, but I believe you can only stay 30 days at a time. It’s a really tough time for anything like this, and hopefully next year it will get better. -Roger